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Author Topic: Proof of Stake  (Read 15398 times)
Etlase2
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March 12, 2012, 07:19:22 AM
 #21

Part of the problem is that there are two distinct proposals and the answers depend on the proposal. Rather than go through all this here (and then explaining it badly and having to go through it over and over again), I'll edit the wiki progressively, please be patient.

Well, I specifically referred to your proposal. It was you, after all, that gave me lip for not following each of the 8 or so threads on this topic.

Quote
My reluctance to go in to detail here is related to my belief that you don't care care much about the answers. I believe that your core objection is that proof-of-stake will help the rich get richer. My system does indeed strongly favor early adopters.

I do care about the answers because I have for a long time worked on alternative solutions to all of bitcoins problems. I spent several hundred hours thought-processing the ideas behind encoin.
To be honest, I wasn't aware that your proposal would help the rich get richer. I was not able to understand it enough to get to that point. And certainly I would object if the end result is that the rich get richer. However, if the system was rock-solid and I could not think of a better way, I would approve because I think the complete DoS that the 51% attack provides is absolutely paramount in its need to be fixed. I think the wiki is atrocious in its description of this DoS being "not much power."

Quote
In fact, early adopters reap much larger financial rewards in my design than they do under the current proof-of-work system. I don't have any problem with that.

You realize you're begging someone to say, "why would you, you're an early adopter?" regardless of the balance of your BTC account.

Quote
Proof-of-stake would be more robust and secure. It would lead to much lower long-run equilibrium txn fees.

Why not even try digesting what I posted? I have no need to lie in saying the answer to this problem came to me rather quickly when I tried to design a stable currency idea around the bitcoin code. It would be far less disruptive and in fact could be done without changing the protocol itself, only how clients react--although it will still create a fork so that point is rather moot (but perhaps only temporarily? not sure).

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I don't care who profits from operating the payments system. Whether it is just one guy, a government, or the 99% doesn't matter to me. I think attempts to keep gov't and monopolists out permanently are laughable at best. There is just no credible mechanism for doing this. The main thing for me is that a new techonologies exist and make people's lives more convenient. If it is Apple-branded, then so what.

Well, forgive me for looking too far to the future, but this opens up the possibility of things like white-listing accounts. Haven't registered your bitcoin address with the Bitcoin Regulatory Commission? Then this monopoly is not approving your transaction. So not only is decentralization gone, but so is pseudonymity. You claim there is no credible mechanism, but the only basis I see for that is because you haven't thought one up. If you want to attack my idea, have at it. I haven't gone far in fleshing it out, but it certainly is a lot simpler than proof-of-stake so problems should be easier to bring to light.

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March 12, 2012, 08:07:05 AM
 #22

Etlase2's idea seems to me to be basically an improvement on Cunicula's forumla, where instead of the "days destroyed" (coins*age) in a single transaction included by the miner contributing to the "work", Etlase2 suggests that the "days destroyed" in all transactions included in the block should be.  Seems like a good idea to me, as it incentivises the inclusion of transactions (there is no such incentive at all in the current proof of work system), while disadvantaging DoS attackers.
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March 12, 2012, 08:56:32 AM
 #23

To be honest, I wasn't aware that your proposal would help the rich get richer. I was not able to understand it enough to get to that point. And certainly I would object if the end result is that the rich get richer. However, if the system was rock-solid and I could not think of a better way, I would approve because I think the complete DoS that the 51% attack provides is absolutely paramount in its need to be fixed. I think the wiki is atrocious in its description of this DoS being "not much power."

Why must we compromise the democratic liberties of PoW for the security of PoS? Don't close your mind to the possibility that you may have overlooked better solutions to the 51% attack. To dismiss PoW out of fear of a 51% attack is to end the experiment of Bitcoin.

Well, forgive me for looking too far to the future, but this opens up the possibility of things like white-listing accounts. Haven't registered your bitcoin address with the Bitcoin Regulatory Commission? Then this monopoly is not approving your transaction. So not only is decentralization gone, but so is pseudonymity. You claim there is no credible mechanism, but the only basis I see for that is because you haven't thought one up. If you want to attack my idea, have at it. I haven't gone far in fleshing it out, but it certainly is a lot simpler than proof-of-stake so problems should be easier to bring to light.
I'm sure there are things that can be done with transaction fees that we have overlooked that will not compromise PoW entirely. Fee demurrage, processing auctions, tax supported miners, agents, etc. There are many, many other ways to look at future money issues. I will stop before I go into a rant about the long history of monopolies holding power through violence.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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March 12, 2012, 09:12:02 AM
 #24

Why must we compromise the democratic liberties of PoW for the security of PoS? Don't close your mind to the possibility that you may have overlooked better solutions to the 51% attack. To dismiss PoW out of fear of a 51% attack is to end the experiment of Bitcoin.

Huh? I am proposing an alternative to both PoW and PoS. I believe I gave what is probably the best solution possible to the 51% attack. I almost held back from even mentioning it in one of these threads because frankly I don't like bitcoin very much. But to have so much effort wasted on designing PoS when I think there is a much better, much simpler way, the altruistic part of me couldn't remain silent.

Quote
I'm sure there are things that can be done with transaction fees that we have overlooked that will not compromise PoW entirely. Fee demurrage, processing auctions, tax supported miners, agents, etc. There are many, many other ways to look at future money issues. I will stop before I go into a rant about the long history of monopolies holding power through violence.

This is tangential to the discussion. Increasing fees or making it harder to get your transactions into blocks isn't the answer. Encouraging more and more electricity and hardware resources devoted to securing the network isn't a very good answer either. Why should value be wasted on electric companies when it isn't necessary? Why should the possibility of a sustained 51% attack be left open?

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March 12, 2012, 09:14:26 AM
 #25

Increasing fees or making it harder to get your transactions into blocks isn't the answer. Encouraging more and more electricity and hardware resources devoted to securing the network isn't a very good answer either. Why should value be wasted on electric companies when it isn't necessary?

I agree with the above statement completely.

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March 12, 2012, 09:39:32 AM
 #26

Increasing fees or making it harder to get your transactions into blocks isn't the answer. Encouraging more and more electricity and hardware resources devoted to securing the network isn't a very good answer either. Why should value be wasted on electric companies when it isn't necessary?

I agree with the above statement completely.
I also agree with the above. However, I do not think your solutions have much relevance to Bitcoin. I like the idea of energy based currency and have written extensively about it in other forums over the years. I do think that Bitcoin will evolve into something like that eventually when energy is no longer a scarcity based commodity.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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March 12, 2012, 07:50:44 PM
 #27

No offense, but this is a pretty silly hack to fix the problem. Make it more centralized and concentrate even more power to the bitrich?


for once we can agree. Cheesy
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March 13, 2012, 05:57:49 AM
 #28

I have updated the wiki with a very brief discussion of my proposal. You will see that it is very simple and basically amounts to changing the difficulty criterion for block validity.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Proof_of_Stake

If you have comments or questions, I will try to answer them in this thread (and also update the proposal regarding if big issues come up).


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Etlase2
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March 13, 2012, 07:52:00 AM
 #29

Can you clear up your formula bro?

(Aggregate difficulty)^{1/((1-p)}

an error right off the bat, and it is unclear if the rest of the formula is all in the power or if there are two halves that are divided, although on running 1,000 coins*100 confirms both come up with asinine difficulties

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March 13, 2012, 09:00:48 AM
 #30

Proof of Stake?

Is this SolidCoin ?

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March 13, 2012, 10:31:19 AM
 #31

Proof of Stake?

Is this SolidCoin ?
No, the ideas under discussion here have nothing to do with stupid nonsense done by SolidCoin.

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March 13, 2012, 10:35:33 AM
 #32

Can you clear up your formula bro?

(Aggregate difficulty)^{1/((1-p)}

an error right off the bat, and it is unclear if the rest of the formula is all in the power or if there are two halves that are divided, although on running 1,000 coins*100 confirms both come up with asinine difficulties

Thanks for checking the formula. I cleared up the hanging parentheses. If you see any additional errors let me know.

Remember that difficulty is just an arbitrary constant that controls the block generation rate. There is no reason to expect a difficulty number that generates 6 blocks per hour in my system to look similar in magnitude to a difficulty number that generates 6 blocks per hour under the current proof-of-work arrangement.


Meni, you might want to consider describing your own system in this wiki as well.

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March 13, 2012, 01:05:25 PM
 #33

Proof of Stake?

Is this SolidCoin ?
Naw, this would be more likely nicknamed Serfcoin.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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March 13, 2012, 01:12:36 PM
 #34

Why must we compromise the democratic liberties of PoW for the security of PoS? Don't close your mind to the possibility that you may have overlooked better solutions to the 51% attack. To dismiss PoW out of fear of a 51% attack is to end the experiment of Bitcoin.

There is nothing "democratic" about proof of work.  If i am rich enough to buy 10% of the hardware I get 10% of the "vote".  If you are so poor you can't buy 0.1% of the hardware you don't even get 0.1% of the vote.  I doubt proof of stake enhancement is possible in Bitcoin (difficult to make even modest changes) but they both use invested wealth to ensure the dominant chain is supported by the majority of the invested wealth (wealth with conviction).

Not much difference between:
a) I take $100K and buy 1% of the network hashing power
b) I take $100K and buy a combination of (less) hashing power and large enough stake to have 1% of the effective (stake weighted) hashing power

In both cases I am putting $100K at risk and gaining 1% of the network revenue and having 1% of the "vote".  To think one is the Roman Republic and the other is serfdom is naive.

Well, forgive me for looking too far to the future, but this opens up the possibility of things like white-listing accounts. Haven't registered your bitcoin address with the Bitcoin Regulatory Commission? Then this monopoly is not approving your transaction. So not only is decentralization gone, but so is pseudonymity. You claim there is no credible mechanism, but the only basis I see for that is because you haven't thought one up. If you want to attack my idea, have at it. I haven't gone far in fleshing it out, but it certainly is a lot simpler than proof-of-stake so problems should be easier to bring to light.

Proof of stake doesn't necessarily mean monopoly or cartel.  Proof of work is no guarantee that there won't be a monopoly or cartel.

If tomorrow Deepbit, Slush, and BTC Guild decided they would only build on their own blocks they would have 100% of the network doubling their revenue overnight.  Since they no longer need any more hashing power they could close the doors to new hashing power and new miners.  If the merged they could gain higher profits by having members turn off hashing power (but having it be hot idle under control of the cartel).  They could operate a modest 1TH/s or so with the ability to engage up to 5TH/s+ if someone tried to break the cartel.  Members could be issued shares and paid dividends from this entity.  In time hardware could be moved to warehouses controlled by the cartel and replaced with more efficient equipment.  As long as they have the ability to deploy more hashing power than any "upstart" they could leave most of it idle further boosting profits.  Their idle hashing power is in effect an indirect form of proof of stake.   On a long enough timeline they would form the basis for the "Bitcoin Regulatory Commission" you fear.   Eventually datacenters full of ASIC processors providing tens of TH/s of on demand hashing power would be the method of control.  As long as their potential hashing power is large enough there is no need to keep it online.   Far more efficient to have it in "reserve" (thus producing no cost) and monitor the network.  Members would simply be shareholders (with shares openly traded anyone could buy a stake) and Bitcoin would be a controlled centralized network.

I am not saying the top 3 WILL do that but the belief that somehow PoW is democratic, free, and open and PoS is closed, centralized, and monopolistic is just naive.  
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March 13, 2012, 01:34:17 PM
 #35

With Bitcoin's Pow, at any given time a new enterprise can come online and threaten the integrity of the network. This is a good thing. This will require dillegence to maintain a "balance of power." Collectivist institutions like democracies can choose to forge a coalition to counter-attack anyone that monopolizes the network. If that coalition itself manages to take 51% as well, then political seperation of powers can be installed to mitigate this threat through bicameral legislation. Whenever a dictator or oligarchy upsets the balance, things tend to get noisy.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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March 13, 2012, 01:37:15 PM
 #36

Thanks for the cogent argument, d&t. You explained things quite well. I agree with you, though I am somewhat more optimistic about the possibility for change within bitcoin. The first step is a proof of concept alt chain. I am hoping to attract coder interest in this.

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March 13, 2012, 01:38:56 PM
 #37

Meni, you might want to consider describing your own system in this wiki as well.
Sure, as soon as I have the time.

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March 13, 2012, 01:50:42 PM
 #38

Meni, you might want to consider describing your own system in this wiki as well.
Sure, as soon as I have the time.

P.S.

I did another minor cleanup.
Cunicula, please try not to paste your name that much in the article ... three times within 2 paragraphs is a bit too much IMO, can be interpreted as vanity by some (not saying it is, but the style is not so great IMO). Also, no need to reserve space for questions / critisicim, it's a wiki, let it evolve naturally. Questions are not appropriate within the article itself, they can be asked in the discussion.

Also, can someone please add a tl;dr on what are the key differences between the PoS systems proposed by Meni & Cunicula? I haven't followed this entire discussion. I did place a small placeholder in the wiki for this.

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March 13, 2012, 02:09:37 PM
 #39

Also, can someone please add a tl;dr on what are the key differences between the PoS systems proposed by Meni & Cunicula? I haven't followed this entire discussion. I did place a small placeholder in the wiki for this.
In Cunicula's system, voting power is determined by combining (multiplicatively) your hashrate and stake. To be effective you need both to be high (which IMO is very problematic because small players cannot contribute effectively. It's not linear.)

In my system, there's a skeleton based purely on hashrate, and superposed on it are occasional checkpoints set by stakeholders. You can contribute PoW without having stake, and you can contribute PoS without having work, and in both cases your voting power and reward is linearly proportional to the resources you have.

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March 13, 2012, 02:24:31 PM
 #40

Also, can someone please add a tl;dr on what are the key differences between the PoS systems proposed by Meni & Cunicula? I haven't followed this entire discussion. I did place a small placeholder in the wiki for this.
In Cunicula's system, voting power is determined by combining (multiplicatively) your hashrate and stake. To be effective you need both to be high (which IMO is very problematic because small players cannot contribute effectively. It's not linear.)

In my system, there's a skeleton based purely on hashrate, and superposed on it are occasional checkpoints set by stakeholders. You can contribute PoW without having stake, and you can contribute PoS without having work, and in both cases your voting power and reward is linearly proportional to the resources you have.

Excellent, I put it in the wiki.
I remembered reading earlier about your suggestion, and it makes perfect sense.

Cunicula - any definitive argument why your proposal is better than Meni's?

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